Yesterday at school the grade ones had a teddy bears picnic. Alec chose his teddy to bring and we set off to school. There were 25 very excited children that morning. Instead of lunch, mums sent in a plate of party food. I saw a vast sea of sweets so I ducked home and made them some party club sandwiches... with cheese and vegemite.
When I went back Alec saw me and with this totally amazed and enthralled look on his little face he pointed to the life sized teddy bear that had come to visit. To him and many of the others it was a real teddy and I loved that so much that at six they can still have the capacity to believe in the unbelievable. Of course by the time he got home from school some little wretch had told him it was another teacher dressed up, but then they saw that teacher while the teddy bear was still there so that backfired on him and Alec still would like to believe it was a real teddy but I could see he had his doubts.
Now I just hope we can get another Christmas in with them believing in Santa.
This morning I found a word document that had a letter to Alec and lists of things he was doing at the time. It was back in November of 2004. It was just before we would find we had autism in our house and didn't know it. Alec has been autistic from birth, when we knew the characteristics of autism we could see them in Alec.
It has been hard, especially the early days, Alec had very little language, his speech was delayed and we had behavioural issues. Alec was bombarded, he suffered terrible sensory overload, he would literally meltdown and be unable to function. We are so lucky where we live, there are some wonderful speech therapists that deal with autism and we have an Autism Association that runs an amazing early intervention program. We did private speech once a week and centre sessions twice a week for 2 years, Alec did OT and a program of mixed therapies tailored to his needs. He went from having no comprehension and Echolalia ( is the repetition of vocalisations made by another person. In Alec's case he repeated anything he heard, us, Thomas the tank engine, and as he learnt more he would use snippets of programs to form his sentences, if you can't form it yourself get it from somewhere else, and he did)
We have come so far but Alec will always be autistic, there are no cures but wonderful therapies unfortunately there is a whole other side that blames vaccinations and looks for a cure and hates people like me which I find so sad, I have no energy to hate anyone everything I have goes into my family. I just read my first non-fiction book in about a decade, I try to keep my reading to the escapism genres. I made an exception for this. This book, Autism's False Prophits (bad science, risky medicine and the search for a cure) by Dr Paul A. Offit lays out the facts, shows how the whole hysteria about vaccines was enginered by someone doing bad science, Andrew Wakefield is actually being deregistered by the medical board in the UK because of his poor science and the falsehoods he included in his papers. Then there are the lawyers who can see a huge pay day if the can twist the emotions of a jury and actually convince people that children have been vaccine damaged all the time refering to these children as souless and damaged and many other derogetory terms.
Alec is not damaged! He needs help, guidance and understanding. He is in mainstream school with an aide and an outside agency gives guidance and strategies, I wish it was more but we do the most with what we have. We can see little bits of autism when we look back into our families, no vaccination caused this.
and now if you can sit through it this is what I wrote between November and December 2004. I am off to see if I put this in his scrapbook, oh and Shrek must have been popular here, you will see what I mean at the end.
Some days we just get so busy that it is so hard to stop and appreciate the wonder of seeing you grow and learn. You have been a little difficult lately and won’t sleep in your own bed anymore. We have given in and made you up one in our room. At night we have to lay down with you in our bed until you fall asleep then move you to your bed.
You just blew us away on Sunday, I walked into our bedroom and you had some balls, you saw me and said..
Look mummy juggle balls
And that was exactly what you did. My heart swelled so much it hurt and bought tears to my eyes, just the simple thing of you sitting juggling balls made me stop and think about all the things you do that give me so much joy.
You share (some of) your toys with Riley, making sure everyone knows that you are sharing.
You walk around the house in mummees shoes
When daddy is at work you go around the house and tell mummy all the things he has done
You copy everything daddy does when he gets home
Your very special way of removing the caterpillars from the vegie garden
How good you are at watering the garden
The way you remember how I showed you to look at the clouds and how you like to lay on the lawn out the front and look at the clouds while you wait for daddy
How you know what is going to happen in the book before I say it because we have read them all so many times
The way you help with the laundry
Your fascination with water
Your love of babies, how you go up and touch them and pat their heads no matter whose baby it is
How excited you are to see Sean at playgroup and how you run up and give him a hug
The way you remember places we have been like the train station and the hospital and doctors and now the shops
The squeals of delight when you see puppies at the Joondalup pet store
The way you say Mac the cat (Mac a cat)
Your love of train sets
Your dinosaur roar (even though you call them dragons)
When you sing twinkle twinkle star oo oo ar and old MacDonald for me
Pushing Riley along in the pram
When you pick up Riley’s baba for him and tell me about the bottles for the baby
When you tell me about your baby brother Riley
How beautiful you look as you sleep
The way you wriggle until you fall asleep
The way you squeal when Riley gives you hugs in the morning
How you have eviscerated your poor beloved eeyore and walk around saying eeyore die eeyore die, all because I told you he would die if you kept pulling out the stuffing
How much you love your dad
The way you decorated the wall in the kitchen for me and bought me to see your ‘pitcha’
How you didn’t mind cleaning it off when I handed you the cloth
The way you make all the animal sounds
How you blew the alter candle out when daddy took you to church and how pleased you were with yourself
How when something is about to happen to R2-D2 on aar wars you run and say… “Oh no mummy… D2 D2!”
The way you recognise the music from Shrek when we hear it on the radio
How each morning when daddy goes to work you tell me he has gone to catch the train
Well we bit the bullet and went to Ngala with you and got some advice on sleeping. We didn’t realise but you had become the boss and we were slaves to your every whim. We bit the bullet and slowly laid down the law. You are pushing at the boundaries as much as you can but we are right there to show you the right direction. Since we have been better at getting you to sleep we are seeing a happier boy already and we are also realising that sometimes when you are angry it is because you are so tired you can’t communicate properly.
All of a sudden you don’t like me to leave daycare, you love going you just want me to stay too. I called and checked on you yesterday and Georgia said you were having a wonderful time and being wonderful too. We hear you now sitting and singing songs to yourself while you play. It has been such a big year for you, moving house, getting used to a new and demanding baby brother, learning how better to express yourself and how to get your own way.
I can’t wait to see what 2005 hold for you Alec, we will be there with you every step of the way to make it the best year we can for you..
only eight pages left to complete for my 365 days book and I am pretty happy with it! Yesterday I made the front and back covers, these were versions 4 of the covers, I was getting a bit desperate but now, these are the ones. The covers will be imagewrap, this means the image wraps around the cover and it is a hardback.
I have 14 soccer books in transit somewhere, I am stressing slightly I hate waiting for things and the difference between trackable and non trackable was $110, I closed my eyes made a wish and clicked on the non trackable, I will be doing the same for these. I am slightly confused because they are printed in Switzerland and you would think postage choices would be the same no matter what your region but the US seem to get the cheapest rate with more options. There were 3 for Asia Pacific but that has been dropped to two. Even though it feels like the books were sent over a month ago it has only been 14 days so I am hoping the will be here any day now.
In a few days I have to finish my 365 days project. Yes I know it will only be November but when I worked out when I would need it ready for printing I jumped back to 2007 and started my 365 day photos on November 1st 2007. This means there are still a whole years worth of photos in the book. These last ones my format changed a little, I took the image dimensions from the book and made collages because while Michael's mum was here we took so many photos I couldn't just do one for each event. All I have to do is a few more collages, check my layout and decide what I want on the cover, which is really hard and the I will send it to blurb.com for printing, I am ordering 5 copies and they are family Christmas presents this year.
It worked out we were interesting one out of every 3.3 days as I have about 110 pages in the book. I can't wait to see this in print, I am pretty sure I will be doing a 365 day album in one format or another.
I don't know if my paper scrapbooking has suffered because of this project, each photo has had about an hours work done on it from design, layout and creation to placement in the book so it probably has. I just got the last 3 months layouts out to file away and there are 12 of them so I am sitting at about 1 a week which is ok, because that will still add another album to the shelf at the end of the year and in between there are a few mini albums and a canvas or two. So when I feel as though I have become stagnant I make a list (in my head) of what I have done and I am pretty happy with myself.
I love school holidays! Ours were so busy this time around. We had Grandma the first week and we all went off to the Perth Royal Show and then we dived straight into preparation for Riley's 5th birthday party, I can't believe he is 5, both of my boys are getting so tall.
One thing I really wanted to do was keep taking Alec swimming, so we set off for Arena and both boys had a ball I am going to make it one of those weekend rituals and the fact that the pool is heated means we can do it all year. I'm also enrolling them in swimming lessons after Christmas, swimming was something I can always remember being able to do as we had a pool in the back yard We went nice and early which was just as well because the crowd was really filling out as we left.
Pinata mayhem.. 5 year olds seem to be old hands at birthday parties and all knew what to do, I bought the pulling one and a few little boys were disappointed there would be no bashing.
And here are some Buzz and Bloom layouts I have done recently, I'm loving lots of bits right now, I have to go shopping for some more but every time I think.. yes scrap shop time something else breaks down, my scrap budget now resides in out laundry but you get that don't you.
I had a big title worked out for this but in the end Lego was the only thing that looked right so that is what I went with.
These photos are from January 2004 and I had never scrapped them probably because they are on my wall I can remember the day he was born so well still and all the other years seem to have gone by so quickly And I love this, Riley picked out these boots at Harbour Town (outlet mall type thing but on a very small scale)
One laptop computer with internet connection and 3 people wanting to use it A trip to the Royal Show Riley's 5th birthday party Grandma visiting and the washing machine blew up
So I now have tons of photos to scrap, I was going to do Ali's A week in the life project but I missed a day of photos and never got around to writing anything down, I intend to do some printing tomorrow and some journaling, I may still do it, I love mini albums with a formula, I did my Busselton holiday album like that and I love it It is good to have my computer back, the internet just stopped so after much fiddling Michael bought a new router and card, installed them and... they didn't work either! but then when he put back the old stuff and fiddled a bit more it now works. I like familiar, I like access to my photos and my printer and my bookmarks.
grandma goes home today, there will be a very sad little 5 year old at my house, well sad after he finishes with his 3rd birthday party tomorrow.